Marriage in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
To be married in Australia couples must:
- not be married to someone else
- not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling
- be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old
- understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
- lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with an authorised marriage celebrant or minister of religion at least one month prior to the intended date of marriage
- provide their original birth certificate or passport
- provide two witnesses over the age of 18 years to witness their marriage ceremony.
If either party has been previously married, a divorce certificate or death certificate of the previous spouse is required. All foreign language documents must be officially translated to English.
Once the marriage ceremony has taken place, the authorised marriage celebrant has 14 days to submit required marriage documents to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to enable registration of the marriage. Once the marriage has been registered couples can apply to the registry for their legal marriage certificate.
Further information about marriage in Australia can be found on the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website.
Getting married at the Perth Registry OfficeShow more
The Perth Registry Office has two wedding rooms which offer magnificent views overlooking the Swan River. Friendly civil ceremonies are conducted Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) commencing at 9.00 am and concluding at 4.00 pm. To book your wedding at the Perth Registry Office contact the Registry’s Marriage Services Team on 1300 305 021.
Grevillea Room (seats 35 guests) and Banksia Room (seats 20 guests)
All couples are required to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage, identification (passport or birth certificate) and, if previously married, a divorce certificate or death certificate of their previous spouse. These documents must be lodged with the Perth Registry Office at least one month before the desired date of marriage.
If you are eligible to post or email the Notice of Intended Marriage form, you will need to arrange for your signatures to be witnessed by a qualified person (as stated on the Notice) and have your supporting documents certified as true copies. Original documents will need to be sighted before your marriage ceremony can take place.
On the day of the ceremony, two witnesses must be present to witness your marriage and sign the marriage documentation. Your witnesses:
- must be 18 years or older
- know either party
- can be family or friends.
Note: The Registry does not supply witnesses for your ceremony.
On occasion where the couple or witnesses do not speak and/or understand English the Registry will provide an interpreter free of charge. This includes Auslan.
As the Registering Authority for all marriages in Western Australia, the Perth Registry Office is the only establishment that can issue the certified marriage certificate immediately after your marriage ceremony. This certificate is used to legally recognise your changed marital status.
Note: The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is not affiliated to the Perth Marriage Office which is operated by a private authorised marriage celebrant.
Change of name after marriageShow more
If you were married in Australia, a formal change of name is not always required if you wish to take your spouse’s surname. A certified marriage certificate, issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation changed to a married surname. The same process applies should you wish to revert to your maiden surname after marriage, using your birth certificate as evidence of entitlement..
If you were married overseas, you may be required to register a formal change of name with the Registry before your married surname is accepted by some organisations. Refer to Changing your name for full details.
It is recommended that you check with the relevant authority to determine their specific requirements.
Overseas marriagesShow more
While overseas marriages cannot be registered in Australia, they would generally be recognised as a legal marriage if it is recognised by that country as a lawful marriage. For evidence of your overseas marriage, it is recommended that you obtain a marriage certificate from their registering authority before you leave that country. The marriage certificate may require an official translation if not in English.
Single status certificateShow more
If you are planning to get married overseas, the foreign country's marriage authorities often require evidence that parties to a prospective marriage are free to marry. Such evidence may be a Result of Marriage Search Certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages which certifies that you have never been married in Western Australia, or if previously married, no further marriage/s has been registered. Only the person who is a party to the prospective marriage can apply and applications can only be issued from the Registry Office in Perth.
For further information about getting married overseas visit the Smartraveller website.
Who can apply for a marriage certificate?Show more
- Written Authority from the parties named in the certificate; or
- Evidence that both parties are deceased; or
- Evidence that the certificate is required for some legal right or entitlement
For general medical research enquiries refer to Registrar for consideration.
- must be referred to Manager Registry Services and Policy to check if Power of Attorney extends beyond the person’s property and/or financial affairs.
- Before accepting payment Courthouses must forward certificate applications with a copy of the accompanying Power of Attorney evidence to the Manager Registry Services and Policy for consideration.
Current as at 24 January 2018 and subject to change without notice.
Forms and feesShow more
- Refer to Marriage application forms.
The fees for applying for a marriage certificate:
- $50 Certified Marriage Certificate
- $35 Reduced Fee Marriage Certificate (+75 yrs. old)
- $20 Uncertified copy of a Marriage Registration (+75 yrs. old)
- $34 Single Status Certificate (for each 10 yr range)
- $35 Priority Service (not payable when applying in person)
To get married at the Perth Registry Office:
- $175 Lodgement of Notice of Intended Marriage (non-refundable)
- $215 Registry Marriage - Ceremony Fee (including GST)
- $50 Certified Marriage Certificate
- $45 Shortening of Time (if approved)
The following payment methods are accepted:
- Credit card - MasterCard or Visa only
- EFTPOS Debit card or Cash - When paying in person
- Cheque or money order - Payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. When paying at a WA court payable to the Department of Justice.
- Overseas applicants - $AUD via credit card (MasterCard or Visa only) or international money order or bank draft payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
- The refund policy (PDF 109KB) outlines the circumstances that are considered for refund of fees paid for goods or services provided by the Western Australian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Identification that you needShow more
Applicants are required to provide at least three forms of evidence-of-identity documents before being eligible to receive certificates.
One from List 1, 2 and 3. At least one containing a photograph
One from List 1 and two from List 2. At least one containing a photograph
Two from List 2 and one from List 3. At least one containing a signature.
List 1 – Link between photo and signature
- Australian Driver’s Licence
- Australian Passport
- Australian Firearm Licence
- Defence Force/Police Id Card
- Australian Citizenship Certificate (with evidence of residential status)
- Western Australian Photo Card, Over 18 or Proof of Identity Card
- Australian learner driver’s permit card
List 2 – Evidence of Operating in the Community
- A financial institution Debit or Credit card
- Document of identity issued by the Passport Office
- Centrelink/Veterans Affairs Entitlement Card
- Birth Certificates (birth extracts are not accepted)
- Medicare Card
- Naturalisation, citizenship or immigration papers issued by the Department of Home Affairs
- Australian Security or Crowd Control Licence
- Student Identity Document or Statement of Enrolment
List 3 – Proof of Residency
- Drivers licence renewal notice
- Financial institution statement less than 6 months old
- Motor vehicle registration
- Property Lease or Tenancy Agreement
- Shire/Water rates notice
- Student Report or Certificate less than 12 months old
- Utility Account less than 6 months old
For overseas applicants, the Registry will consider overseas equivalent evidence-of-identity documents.
Where to applyShow more
Certificate applications can be submitted:
At the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Perth or at any court location in Albany, Armadale, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Collie, Derby, Esperance, Fremantle, Geraldton, Joondalup, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Katanning, Kununurra, Mandurah, Manjimup, Merredin, Midland, Morra, Narrogin, Northam, Rockingham and South Hedland.
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 7720
PERTH WA 6850